Maison Roche de Bellene Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2018
Chassagne Montrachet experienced a near perfect vintage in 2017. The wines have uncommon breed, finesse and precision. This is a blend of two vineyards, one of them being the de-classified premier cru Grand Montagne. Engaging aromas of carmelized apricots, beeswax and a hint of Grand-Cru petrol. Powerful and long on the palate, with its yellow orchard fruits and baking spices buttressed by 50% new oak. This is amore serious wine than the lush 2016 vintage and begs to be laid down. With decanting it could be enjoyable tonight with poached salmon, broiled swordfish or sautéed bay scallops.
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Nicolas Potel, after his first steps as winemaker in the family Estate in Volnay: le Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, he built up his own negoce in 1996 then, in 2000, Maison Potel-Aviron in Beaujolais region. In 2005, Nicolas built up his own Estate, Domaine de Bellene, in Beaune with 15 Ha of organic vines in Côte de Beaune.
In 2008, after the departure from SAS Nicolas Potel company, Nicolas Potel launches his new negociant business called Maison Roche de Bellene. The philosophy is the same as Nicolas used to in Nuits-Saint-Georges: we have been keeping the same source of wines and the same relationship with growers that Nicolas have been working with the last 15 years. One extremely important difference from the past is the we are now only focusing on offering the finest wines, in limited cuvées in order to achieve our goal: being the only "Haute Couture" negociant in Burgundy.
A Côte de Beaune village of Burgundy most famous for its beautifully textured and powerful whites, Chassagne-Montrachet reaches farthest south in the Côte d’Or, save for the village of Santenay. It has three Grands Crus vineyards: Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet overlap with and are (confusingly) shared with the village of Puligny-Montrachet. But Chassagne-Montrachet bears sole ownership of the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru.
The beauty doesn’t stop there as the village has a great many outstanding Premiers Crus wines and village level wines. Most famous Premiers Crus vineyards include Les Chenevottes, Clos de la Maltroie, En Cailleret and Les Ruchottes. Also, village level wines offer many lovely examples of what Chassagne-Montrachet has to offer, but at more approachable price points and perhaps less demand of waiting.
The best sites in Chassagne-Montrachet have complex soils of sedimentary rock and limestone (with less marl). Whites, which are by law composed of 100% Chardonnay (as in all classified white Burgundy from Côte d’Or), have steely power, bright and concentrated citrus, stone or tropical fruit characteristics and attractive textures ranging from plush to tactile, grippy and mineral-driven.
There is some fine Pinot Noir produced from the village. These wines tend to be high-toned and earthy, with wild herb aromas and suave tannins.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.